Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Scenester Pick: Another "Pass the Hat" Show at Percolator / An Interview With Simone du Garfunk

The Percolator's "Pass the Hat" series is back in action tonight with two one-man bands--Craig Comstock's This is My Condition and Rob Schulte's Robocopter--and a one-woman band: Briged Oschhorn's No Milk (who sometimes performs on roller-skates).   Also, on the bill:  Agent X-12. We don't know much about Agent X-12 but we think it's a cyborg.

In a recent interview, No Milk says:  "the reason I’ve always wanted to tour and travel, is to experience getting an opportunity to play in a new environment with unexpected variables ... uncontrolled."  The Percolator should certainly fit that bill.  Let's hope that Compton doesn't bulldoze it and build a resort hotel there during tonight's show.

"Pass the Hat" gigs begin at 5:00 with a potluck and bands play at 7:00. Read our recent interview with Craig Comstock here and read last week's profile of the "Pass the Hat" series here .


We like bands containing married couples and bands will silly names that make Chip giggle, so of course we enjoy Simone du Garfunk!  They'll be stopping by the Bottleneck this Friday alongside Scott Allan Knost and Tyler Gregory (also, please watch/rewatch THIS Tyler Gregory video which will warm the heart of even the most cold-blooded scenesters.  It's even made the Huffington Post!).

We recently had a fun chat with the Simone du Garfunk gang about thongs, hippie festivals, Waffle House,  and murder ballads.  Enjoy!

Visit the band's website and FB page for more info and to hear the tunes mentioned in the interview.

Richard:  Your band name is delightfully silly.  Tell us the origin story?  And do you cover any Simon and Garfunkel tunes?

Bob:  About 6 years ago my wife and I were in a bluegrass band and we occasionally played as a duo as well. We would bill ourselves as Tammy and Bob Colladay, which are unfortunately our real names. A guy I worked with politely told us that it sounded like a crappy name for a band. He suggested Simone and Garfunk.  Not only do we not play any Simon and Garfunkel, but the guy who gave us the idea has never to my knowledge seen us play as such. I occasionally do "Song of the 59th Street Bridge (Feeling Groovy)" by myself though.

Chip:   We suspect you’ve seen some memorable sights down at Winfield.  Tell us a tale or two, ideally involving drugged-up, nekkid hippie chicks in the campgrounds.

 Bob:  We've had our share of 3 AM partially clothed hippie chicks stumble through our jams. I have been known to sport a prison-kini or go topless on Stage 7. But I saw a photo of the topless show and it looked like I had catcher mitts for a chest so that brought on the prison-kini, more coverage. 

There is a legend in our camp called "the maiden of the blue thong". One late night jam required a pit stop at one of the fine portable toilet facilities at Winfield. There in the moonlight hanging from the plastic handle was a discarded blue thong. As there was nobody there to claim it, it was brought back to the jam tent and has hung above the entry way now for the last 9 or 10 years…just in case the maiden should ever come back to claim her panties. 

After a combination of pain pills, cold medicine and gin, our drummer Matt is known to walk around camp in a red union suit and fedora and goes by the moniker "Union Man". I have photos. 

Chip:  Please write a song called "Maiden of the Blue Thong."  I have a boner just thinking about it.

Richard:  “Waffle House Blues” contains some fun references to great old tunes by Hank Sr. and Kris Kristofferson.  Are they big influences for you, or do you lean more toward bluegrass-y songwriters? 

Bob:  We all like classic country and honky tonk heroes: they are the real deal. Johnny, Hanks, Willie, Patsy, George Jones. Tammy sings the hell out of "You're Cheating Heart" and "Bobby McGee." I think Kris Kristofferson is one of the classic singer-songwriter guys. I would love to write music like those guys but our stuff rides the fence or leans toward singer-songwriter. We kind of fell into bluegrass by accident and hopefully kept what we thought were the good parts.

Chip:  As a follow-up, what’s your favorite food at Waffle House?  And have you had the hash browns all eight ways?

Bob:  Ha! Don't tell anybody but I have only been to a Waffle House once, years ago. I seem to remember enjoying the Marlboro platter with tar sauce. But to answer the question: "Hash browns scattered, smothered, is that all, yeah that's it" to quote Mike West. But I like peppers so anything with peppers. 

Tammy:  Do they have good waffles? I'll have that." 

Matt:   I like a good egg white omelette - just kidding! Give me anything as long as it has gravy on it!

Bob:  I co-wrote this song with a guy we camp with at Winfield...through The Facebook. Roy McClure, or the Old Kentuckian as we call him, posted "There's nothing more lonely than a Waffle House when your baby's out of town." and I said: "That's a song right there!" and it was. Roy probably has had them hash browns all 8 ways and then some.

Richard:  We love bands that feature married couples.  How does that work out for you two?  Do concerts ever devolve into intense marital spats?  And do  you have a favorite husband/wife band? 

Bob:   Practices are sometimes painful if it is just us two working up new material, because I can be a jerk and a taskmaster. I'm sweet as can be when our friend and drummer Matt Parks is there with us. Shows are always fun though!  

Tammy:  Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings - are they a couple? 

Bob:  Truckstop Honeymoon. Going back a few years now we've had the pleasure of being the act to go on right before them on Flood Stage and Stages 5 and 7 at Winfield. Come to think of it, they never have thanked us for getting all those people to come to their set. It seems a large crowd of people had trouble finding us and got there as we were finishing up our set. The crowd was nice enough to stay and listen to Truckstop.

Richard:  We dig your version of “Bill Bailey.”  What other traditionals might make their way into a Simone du Garfunk set?  And do you know any kick-ass murder ballads?

Bob:  Tammy does a good job on that, basically a version of the Patsy Cline version. We don't have a lot of leads or solos in our act, that was me on baritone uke playing hot lead on that one. Not a lot of tradtionals, maybe "Under the Weeping Willow" or "Charming Betsy". I do occasionally break out "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" if I have a uke though.  Murder ballads...hmmm..."Caleb Meyer", "Long Black Veil", "Knoxville Girl" Tammy wrote one called "Stand."  Oh, and the mysterious song about a 70's pop superstar - "Ode to Billy Joe."

Chip:  You’ll be playing on a bill with local Tyler Gregory at the Bottleneck, who is often called a “neo-hobo.”  How would you term your own stage presence and what can our readers expect from this show? 

Bob:  NashVegas Lounge-a-billy? I just made that up, probably taken already, but that's about right. If you've ever seen or heard of Louis Prima and Keely Smith, stage presence-wise, that's us. Tammy singing beautifully, calmly, remaining deadpan while I make an ass of myself. Matt is no help to her either, he only enables and encourages me. Expect Tammy to knock you out with her vocals, expect me to sing something delightfully funny every now and then to give her a break. I also tell jokes that you haven't heard in years, literally years, like when you were in pre-school. "What did the zero say to the eight?" Come to the show and find out.

Richard:  What else is on the horizon for Simone du Garfunk this year?

Bob:  Lawrence is the kick-off for a short summer tour. The next day we head to Columbia Missouri to play at the Blue Fugue then Evansville, IN - Nashville, Memphis, Broken Arrow, OK & Wichita. After that, some gigs closer to home like Tulsa, Salina and Hutchinson. Maybe get some songs written, go to Winfield, record another CD.

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